Hi everyone!  I am going to be without home at end of month - by choice.  My wonderful wolf dog died and my old cat and I want to get the hell out of Dodge!  thought about Ecuador, vietnam, etc. but wanted to start more slowly - I worry CR might be really expat ridden and see that as a plus for my first stop (maybe last)  If I wanted to stay for a year what site would I get latest rules and what advice do you guys have?
Thank you!
Can't stay in Idaho without my dog -

Just come down, and move around.
Much advice about this and that, but it is your preferences that must be satisfied.

Not to sure why people move down here to be in an expat community, and you can find small towns where you will be the only gringa - and everything in between. But do note that this is a Latin culture, machismo is the order of the day and quite accepted. As always, the ears are a better tool than the mouth.

And of course you do need to learn Spanish.

No rules to sweat, just leave every 90 days to renew your visa (typically a bus trip to the border, north or south).

Enjoy, Bill

Bill!  Thank you.  You have such a calm way that I feel I can put my old kitty and myself on a plane and hightail it outta here.  I have a spanish CD that I will do my best with.  Do they have classes there for cheap or...?  Also, do I need a car?  Can I rent a really cheap one or ...?
Thanks for your input, Bill!

Suggest not relocating until you know what you want, just make a (very ?) extended visit. Put your junk in storage (and pay and pay until you recognize it as junk; been there, done that - am now finally liquidating a car and storage in the US).
If you do not meet with boon companions, just move along. You can solicit inputs off this board, but unless you are present they're just words.

Traveling with a cat will mean you do not travel, understand the limitations. I have brought 3 dogs (Blue Heelers) and my daughter brought her cat to me, but I live in a fixed place. No idea how to travel around with a cat.

Cars are optional, but most gringos are chained to their iron. I had one for years, and now years without - and better for it. I use buses and taxis and its slower and requires more planning, but again there is no road to my house (on the Osa).

Lots of places to learn Spanish in and around SJ, but DO NOT be speaking any English while you are learning; think immersion, and do it.

Two coasts with different cultures, 3 if you consider the big gringo communities; ocean or mountains, etc. etc. Tourism is a pervasive business in CR, can be difficult to get away from as most are trying to bake a buck.

Just visit, no biggie. But consider the cat.


Good advice Bill and I know about my cat...I know...he's old and wonderful and I just have to live lightly and see how long the little guy sticks around.  He's funny and always goes out of his way to make me laugh no matter how sad so there is no WAY I could leave him with someone.  I do want to visit for a month or so though...What do you think /know about Nicaragua, Bill?  I want the nature but not crazy about a ton of gringos.  I really thought Ecaudor sounded great but it costs 1200-1400 to get rt!  vietnam for that...
also - love to ditch the car.  really speak the language sloppily but trying, and get to know the folks.  I have a friend who loves rockin jays at port viejo on carribean side... any thoughts there?

thank you for your help!

Hi Lisa, and welcome!
Bill is spot on.  If you are coming mainly to check it out, live around, etc. then just do it on a tourist visa.  Do *not* skip the border runs tho, and you may also get less than 90 days here and there (so you may have to go more often).  Good excuse to check out Panama and Nicaragua for yourself :-).
re your cat - there are a few rules about vaccinations and health report.  Your vet should be able to help you out there.  I don't know the rules, as I don't have a pet here, but I've seen others agonize about it (and others who have done it, calming them down).  There is a timeline you have to follow, so you do need to find out about this.
enjoy your adventure!

Hi.  I can answer some of your questions.  We've been looking around CR for several years and hope to retire there in 2012.  There aren't a lot of cats in CR but if you bring yours, there are good vets.  All you need is up-to-date health records from your vet to get your cat in on the airlines and through customs.  There's no quarantine period.  As for living someplace with a cat, we have made friends in two different towns: San Ramon and San Isidro.  Both have information on rentals.  If you want more info, let me know and I'll send you some email addresses.  I agree that you will want to travel around and see the country before you settle down someplace.  There are SO many climates and variables to pick from.

I'm soooo excited!  Another question - I see it's the rainy season right now - is it that big of a deal?  is it like tropical downpours twice a day or what?  and is there a more perfect time to be there in cr?  in a way i think it's good for me to be there when its not perfect weather - take it all in, you know?